Reading Matters: Reasons to be Cheerful Parts 1,2 and 3

So, do I write from the heart or do I follow the crowd and endorse this?

First, you should know I write from the heart always.

Second the quote in the side panel is great writing – better than that –  it gives me another piece of the  jigsaw puzzle that is my life (up in the blue sky corner) and confidence to see that the anxiety I can feel overwhelmed by is mostly manufactured.

And then, here is where we separate.

Depression can be a force for good?

It seems that elsewhere, author Matt Haig has written an unexpected message, that depression can be a force for good:

At interview, he writes:

“If you took away all pain, if everyone lived for ever, everything would be bland, flat and boring, there would be no reason for art, music, newspapers, love because we would all be in a mono state of happiness. You cannot belittle depression yet a lot of people would not undo that side of themselves because it changes your thoughts. It makes you appreciate things you would not have appreciated before: like just being alive. Thinking about death makes you analyse what life is. Anxiety makes you curious and curiosity leads to understanding. I wouldn’t be a writer without depression.”

Extract from an interview with Matt Haig in the Guardian: “my solution to depression was never medical ”

And it made me think..

About the value of a non-depressed Life

You see, I would like to think we can be taught to value life without having to run the truly horrible experience of depression.

I was lucky enough (and I truly value this from my adopted parents) to be gifted with a sense of wonder and awe that takes me through most of my difficult things and a deep awareness of a very few people who care deeply about me. And that matters. Environment or Genetics? Are some of us born lucky?

Step outside and watch the sun shine, breathe deeply in a green forest, dip quietly into water and push out against the current, arms pulling the heavy water behind us, in my humble experience, all these things propel us forward if we let them..that’s when we can step out of the mind and be present with what is as writing, putting pen to paper gives to me


A long time ago when I sat with Maharishi, he told me that we (people) don’t get it and that if you ask us which we would prefer to experience so as to enter the kingdom of heaven – a life time of pain and suffering or a lifetime of joy – we would chose pain every time. That’s right, the hands would shoot up believing the other is not possible, a trick.

But beneath that is a more subtle message: what is life without the drama?

And another thing

May be we just get addicted to the drama?


Chaos and drama react in the brain very similarly to drugs and alcohol. This is one theory as to why most alcoholics and addicts are more susceptible to this than a person without substance abuse issues. Participating in or creating dramatic situations causes your brain to secrete endorphins and dopamine. It feels good! It will relieve anxiety when you finally get the attention you have been seeking. Also your needs are being met. You feel like you are making an interpersonal connection, but it isn’t authentic because it involves other people and not yourself directly. Living in drama activates the same mechanisms in the brain that react to opiates. Therefore, people easily become addicted to drama. Just like every other addiction, you can develop a tolerance. The crises need to get bigger. The thrill needs to be better.

Extract from “Are you Addicted to Drama” by Jackie O Brien

Paramananda Ishaya – who also heard Maharishi, writes:

A little exploration of the Silence will reveal this fact. Awareness of stillness, which is our true Self, is already allowing everything, all the time. This is true now even as you read these words. This sitting back and allowing-ness of the Silence used to make me angry when I was self-absorbed in “my” drama. I would shout out (in my mind); “Hello, do you not care that I am suffering here?” No answer, damn it! It just sits there not caring about me or doing anything to help.

He goes onto say in this article on the Path of Joy

Are you serious?

Are you frowning right now?

Turn your frown upside down.

If you want to have joy in your life, you need stop being so serious. Despite what you may have heard, there is no other way around this. If you want freedom, there is no quicker path than this. In fact, by not taking things seriously, all good in life starts to happen spontaneously the instant we turn that frown upside down. I am not promoting acting silly, walking around with purple underwear on your head. It is not about what you do; it’s about the attitude you have that truly makes a difference. Attitude is everything in this game of freedom.

Seriousness has become the foundation of modern society, this is obvious, and just have a look around. This is not tragic but a great comedy and source of amusement for our foundation of being. Seriousness is very funny when seen with clarity, once you see it you will have a hard time not laughing, trust me. Life becomes a non-stop invitation to laugh, of course nobody thinks it’s funny—this will just make you laugh even harder. In fact, there might be so much joy that you forget the reason for it. When this uncaused joy is permanent, this is freedom.

Dialogue with Matt

What do you think – is this true?

It would be great to enter dialogue with Matt Haig, to learn more, to talk. I like talking and I want to learn what stops us as humanity embracing joy, turning our face to the sun.

I respect his experience 100% and his reality and please know that I do not judge.

For goodness sake, who am I to do that? Really?

I question myself that’s all.

What I want to do is lift humanity higher, to fly free – why else are we alive? and why do we forget?

Henry’s Cake – and bonus Recipe!

And here is a picture of chocolate cake – its one of those that always tastes better the next day 😉

Stay hungry my friends, for it is that which will pull us through..

Recipe extract courtesy of Leon

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